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Tropical wave could still develop before weekend, hurricane center says

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 8/11/2022 Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel

Although odds dropped, the tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic could still undergo gradual development before the weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In its 2 a.m. Thursday update, the NHC gave the system a 10% chance of forming in the next two to five days. The wave is 800 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Hurricane specialists also noted that thunderstorm activity decreased Wednesday afternoon.

Although it could develop, the wave faces several challenges to its maturity, including the dry air of Saharan dust, known as the “Saharan Air Layer,” resting over the mid-Atlantic and covering the Caribbean and Florida. Additionally, upper-level winds are expected to become increasingly unfavorable for development during the next couple of days while the system moves generally west-northwestward at about 15 to 20 mph.

Initially, hurricane specialists predicted the wave could become a tropical depression by Wednesday or the latter part of the week but have since pivoted from the prediction. As the wave presses west, the NHC predicts the environment will only continue to become less favorable this weekend as the wave pushes into the SAL.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its midseason forecast and was expecting an above-average number of storms this season, with a range of 14 to 21 named storms. The NOAA expects most of those storms to emerge at the peak of the season — mid-August to mid-October — or the time of year where the most tropical storms are observed.

So far, the 2022 hurricane season has produced three named systems: Tropical Storm Alex, Bonnie, and Colin. While the 2022 season is quiet compared to the past two years, the NOAA’s records show the season is producing average numbers for the time being.

Last year was the third busiest season of all time with 21 named storms, and the year before that, 2020 recorded the most named storms ever in a single season in the Atlantic with a total of 30.

The next name on the 2022 name list is Danielle. This season, the NHC has had to issue advisories on systems ahead of official naming, referring to what became Tropical Storm Alex, for instance, as Potential Tropical Cyclone One. That unnamed system dumped rain on Florida as it passed over the peninsula in June, leaving many parts of Miami under nearly a foot of water.

The NHC has not issued a tropical advisory since Tropical Storm Colin fizzled on July 3.

The hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30.

Orlando Sentinel staff writer Richard Tribou contributed to this report.

©2022 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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